Victory for the Likud, Victory for Israel!

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressing Likud members in Tel Aviv
following the close of the polls. Sara Netanyahu, his wife, stands to his left.
In a dramatic victory, the Likud decidedly won Israel's elections for the twentieth Knesset, garnering 30 mandates to the Labor party's 24 mandates. The Likud and it's natural partners are expected to form a majority coalition of between 61 and 67 seats (of the Knesset's 120 seats).

The results not only defied pre-election polls which showed the Likud trailing Labor by approximately 3 mandates, but also exit polls published following the end of the elections. Those exit polls showed the Likud tied or ahead of Labor by a single mandate, with the Likud and it's natural allies able to form a government.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared victory, but Labor chairman Isaac Herzog did not yet rule out defeat.

The next morning Israel's woke up to an even greater Likud victory and Herzog conceded the election.

Following the close of the polls, Likud members streamed to Ganei HaTaruchah in Tel Aviv, where the Prime Minister gave his victory speech (below in Hebrew).

On his Twitter account, the Prime Minister wrote: "Against all odds:a great victory for the Likud. A major victory for the people of Israel!"


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